European Champions Cup play-off: Stade Francais v London Wasps preview

Last Updated: 23/05/14 2:38pm

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London Wasps travel to the Stade Jean-Bouin on Saturday with the narrowest of advantages after a one-point victory against Stade Francais in the first leg of their European Champions Cup play-off.

Wasps looked beaten when centre Waisea Vuidravuwalu scored a soft 74th-minute try, but the Premiership side at least ensured they won the first leg in the play-off that will decide who completes the line-up for next season's European elite competition.

Tries from Tom Varndell, Ashley Johnson and Joe Simpson and a 15-point haul from Goode should have seen Wasps emerge emphatic winners, but they were punished for some costly lapses in concentration.

Djibril Camara and Jerome Fillol scored tries that should have been prevented shortly after the London club had crossed themselves and even Zak Taulafo's opening touchdown was conceded too easily.

"Last Sunday we were very good in patches and a little bit inaccurate in patches - which has pretty much been the story of our season," Wasps director of rugby Dai Young told their official website.

"A lot of aspects of the game were very pleasing, but again it is frustrating when you work so hard to gain points and then you let some slip.

"The lapses in concentration or accuracy have cost us throughout the season and I'm hoping this is something we have to go through as part of the development of the team and come out the other end."


Stade Francais coach Gonzalo Quesada eight changes to the side that was narrowly beaten in the first leg, with talismanic Italian back row Sergio Parisse making his return to action.

Parisse has recovered from injury in time to take the No 8 jersey from David Lyons, who drops to the bench as do props Zak Tolafau and Rabah Slimani with Heinke van der Merwe and Davit Kubriashvili brought into the front row.

Quesada also opts for a fresh midfield partnership with Jonathan Danty coming in to join Waisea Vuidravuwalu at the expense of Meyer Bosman, while Djibril Camara loses his place on the left wing to Wallaby international Digby Ioane.

Springbok international Morne Steyn moves to the bench as French fly-half Jules Plisson gets the nod in an all-new half-back with Jerome Fillol replaced by Julien Dupuy.

Wasps coach Young has made one enforced change for the second leg with back row Nathan Hughes returning to Fiji for his wedding.

After the creation of the seventh-place play-off, Hughes postponed returning to Fiji last week so he could join the squad in the first-leg but could not avoid missing the return fixture, meaning Guy Thompson comes in to take the No 8 jersey.

Ed Jackson comes onto the bench, where the only other change is Charlie Davies, who returns after recovering from a head knock.

London Wasps: 15 Masi, 14 Helu, 13 Daly, 12 Bell (capt), 11 Varndell, 10 Goode, 9 Simpson; 1 Mullan, 2 Festuccia, 3 Swainston, 4 Launchbury, 5 Palmer, 6 Johnson, 7 Haskell, 8 Thompson

Replacements: 16 Lindsay, 17 McIntyre, 18 Vea, 19 Myall, 20 Jackson, 21 Davies, 22 Carlisle, 23 Hayter

Stade Francais: 15 Bonneval, 14 Arias, 13 Vuidravuwalu, 12 Danty, 11 Ioane, 10 Plisson, 9 Fillol; 1 Van der Merwe, 2 Sempere, 3 Kubruashvili, 4 Flanquart, 5 Pape (capt), 6 Burban, 7 Lavalla, 8 Parisse

Replacements: 16 Van Vuuren, 17 Tolafau, 18 Slimani, 19 Van Zyl, 20 Lyons, 21 Steyn, 22 Dupuy, 23 Bosman

You can watch the second leg of Stade Francais v London Wasps live on Sky Sports 2HD from 1:30pm

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European Champions Cup play-off

Tom Varndell on the charge in Paris

Young so proud of Wasps

Wasps coach Dai Young was a proud man after seeing his team qualify for the European Rugby Champions Cup in Paris.

Tom Varndell: Scored Wasps' first try as they booked a place in next season's European Champions Cup

Wasps seal Euro qualification

London Wasps will play in next season's European Champions Cup after a 50-35 aggregate victory over Stade Francais.

Andrea Masi: Takes the full-back jersey for London Wasps

Wasps v Stade Francais: Teams

London Wasps have named their squad to face Stade Francais at Adams Park on Sunday in the first leg of their play-off.


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